Statistics
counts.

Statistics
counts.

Official statistics are essential to democratic debate based on solid facts. They provide information on population growth, the economic situation and the level of education as well as on society, spatial planning and the environment, as shown in these graphs.

On behalf of government and Parliament, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) collects data with the support of its various partners. As national centre for official statistics in Switzerland, it coordinates surveys to ease the burden on businesses in particular.

The FSO produces objective and well-founded data. Data that can be counted on. Data that enable comparisons with other countries and that show where we have come from and where we are going. Statistics counts. For you too!

Discover some important figures for Switzerland below.

Statistics
counts people.

Population

8.484 million

Switzerland's population at the end of 2017

How many people live in Switzerland? How old are they? How many children do they have? Where did they come from and where do they live? What job do they do? How are religions, languages and occupations distributed throughout the population?

Statistics counts for you.

The Federal Statistical Office provides reliable figures on the population, its origins, its age structure and employment. In so doing it not only describes the past but provides an essential foundation for the future to plan for public infrastructure such as schools and old people's homes, or roads and railways. Without this foundation, cantonal financial compensation could not be calculated and the number of seats in the National Council could not be allocated.

Population

Statistics
counts income and social
benefits.

Social security

3.3 %

Social assistance rate in 2017

How many people find it hard to make ends meet on their wages and are therefore dependent on social assistance benefits? When do we retire? Does poverty exist in Switzerland?

Statistics counts for you.

The Federal Statistical Office keeps a record of how our social security is doing, how much social benefits cost as well as where the money comes from and where it goes. This creates transparency, enabling policy makers to distribute resources correctly and to predict where bottlenecks might occur in future. An objective statistical basis is needed for the welfare state to remain fair and sustainable.

Social security

Statistics
counts votes
and voters.

Politics

32 %

share of women in the National Council

What is the percentage of women in the National Council? How has this percentage changed since the introduction of the right to vote for women in 1971? How many federal popular votes have there been since the creation of the Federal State in 1848? How high has voter participation been on average over the past five years?

Statistics counts for you.

Switzerland depends on its direct democracy. The Federal Statistical Office documents and analyses elections and referendums and publishes the latest figures on the Sunday of the federal votes and elections. The Federal Statistical Office also maintains historical overviews with many dating as far back as 1848. Which initiatives were accepted or rejected? How did the individual cantons vote? How many votes were there? Which communes have seen record-breaking high levels of voter participation over the past few years? The Federal Statistical Office knows the answer.

Politics

Statistics
counts prices, wages and
value added.

National economy

1.6 %

rise in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017

What percentage do the pharmaceutical industry, the banks and insurances or mechanical engineering contribute to the gross domestic product? How does the price level in Switzerland compare internationally? Who are Switzerland's major trading partners? What is the state of Switzerland's economy? What are the trends in consumer prices?

Statistics counts for you.

The economy is an important factor in prosperity and well-being. The Federal Statistical Office compiles important information on the Swiss economy – on such diverse topics as inflation, business statistics and the National Accounts. These data help provide consumers with fair prices. These data are used by politics, the administration, economy and society as a basis for opinion building and decision making. They make for more reliable planning and help the Swiss economy to recognise trends in good time as well as exploiting competitive and locational advantages.

National economy

Statistics
counts people in education.

Education and science

1.6 million

people in education in the 2016/2017 school year

How many children start school each year? How many teachers will we need in the coming years? How much does a degree course cost? Which courses provide the best job security? How much money do the Confederation, cantons and businesses spend on research and development?

Statistics counts for you.

Education is the foundation of every society. The Federal Statistical Offices provides the necessary information on all levels of education. This enables the education authorities and policy makers to plan educational programmes ahead, to set them up and strengthen them – from compulsory schooling to the higher education institutes and continuing education.

Education and science

Statistics
counts the healthy and the sick.

Health

85 %

share of the population in good health

What is the occupancy rate of hospital beds? How often do Swiss people take exercise? How many people die from a heart attack, have breast cancer or are coping with the consequences of diabetes? What does our health system cost?

Statistics counts for you.

With comprehensive surveys on health and health care provision, the Federal Statistical Office makes an important contribution to the recording of disease, treatment and the population's health behaviour. This also reveals where and for what reason health costs are increasing and where bottlenecks in health care provision can be expected in the future, so that action can be taken in time.

Helth

Statistics
counts the built environment
and sustainable development.

Territory and environment

707 kg

municipal waste per person in 2017

By how many square metres does the built environment increase every day? How fast are the glaciers disappearing? What quantity of natural resources are consumed every year? How high are environment-related taxes? Is Switzerland evolving into a a sustainable development?

Statistics counts for you.

The land use statistics provide data that is essential for spatial planning. The environmental satellite account provides an important basis for decision making in Swiss policy. Furthermore, large amounts of data from the federal statistics are fed into an indicator system which measures Switzerland's progress with regard to sustainable development.

Territory and environment

Statistics
counts commutes and
transport costs.

Mobility and transport

4.6 million

passenger car stock in 2017

How many kilometres do Swiss residents travel per day? How long does an average commute take? What trends can be seen in passenger and goods transport by road and rail? How much does transport cost and who pays what? Which means of transport are the most subject to accidents?

Statistics counts for you.

Without mobility nothing moves. The federal statistics data series provide information on people's behaviour towards mobility and their use of the infrastructure as well as providing figures on the resulting costs and environmental damage. This information is an important basis for decision-making, for example with regard to investments in the expansion of transport infrastructure and security improvements.

Mobility and transport

Statistics
counts businesses

Industry and services

4.41 million

jobs in market-oriented companies in Switzerland in 2016

What trends can be seen in the different economic sectors in Switzerland? How is the business performance of Swiss companies? How does the price level in Switzerland compare internationally? What are the trends for construction, production and import prices?

Statistics counts for you.

Economic statistics are useful to every business: for example when choosing new locations, for comparisons with rival companies, for calculating personnel costs or the availability of specialists.

Economic statistics are also a basis on which to make important decisions. The Swiss National Bank uses them for its monetary policy; trade associations and social partners use them when negotiating wage compensation and inflation allowances. This information is so important to some sectors that they pay the Federal Statistical Office to create more detailed surveys.

The Federal Statistical Office only carries out surveys and studies which are commissioned by the Federal Council and Parliament. Businesses are obliged to provide information that is correct. Because our business landscape is characterised by a majority of small and medium-sized businesses, it is important that these are described in detail in the statistics. Failure to include them would result in a misleading impression of Swiss industry.

Statistics counts for and on you.

Especially in the case of large and small businesses.

Industry and services

Statistics
counts on you.

Statistics are an important point of reference in an increasingly complex world. In a modern government their role is to objectify: They turn mere supposition into knowledge and can bring emotional debates back to reality. Without statistics politics, economy and the society - all of us - risk making decisions on the basis of false assumptions. For this reason the Federal Statistical Office counts. On you too.

You can count
on statistics.

The Federal Statistical Offices attaches great importance to data protection. The FSO is not interested in Mr Brown’s or Ms Smith’s tastes and preferences; nor is it interested in one particular business. Statistics are not interested in you as an individual; they are interested in employed persons, in pensioners, in parents and students. This is why all data are made anonymous. And you can count on that.